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Rupee, markets draw cold comfort from relaxed FDI rules

By Rafael Nam and also Archana Narayanan

MUMBAI Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:13pm IST
1 associated with 2. U.S. 100-dollar bills are usually piled up following being counted at the Korea
Exchange Bank (KEB) throughout Seoul October 13, 2008.
Credit: Reuters/Lee Jae-Won/Files
MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's relaxation involving
foreign investment rules, aimed at drawing funds
needed to turnaround slowing economic growth
and also support a crumbling rupee, barely lifted
markets upon Wednesday due in order to doubts
regardless of whether long-term inflows would
materialise at any time soon.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh eased FDI rules
late in Tuesday regarding numerous industries,
including insurance along with telecoms, although
some involving the liberalisation measures fell
short associated with expectations as well as came
with caveats.
The long-pending move to increase the actual
foreign direct investment (FDI) cap within insurance through 26 for you to 49 percent, regarding
example, even now wants approval from parliament, where a bill may be stuck regarding months.
The measures came each day following the central bank mounted a new defence with the rupee
simply by tightening liquidity as well as lifting short-term interest rates, to end up being able to
create speculation contrary for you to the currency a lot more difficult.
Those moves helped to slightly steady a currency that has lost 9 % against the dollar since the
beginning regarding May, rendering it the actual worst performer amongst emerging Asian
currencies tracked through Reuters, yet have got not really allayed investor worries concerning the
country's record-high existing account deficit.
"Foreign investment guidelines easing and the latest RBI measures will not be enough in order to
entice overseas investors. the government should declare any war on the present account deficit,"
said Hitendra Dave, head of global markets in HSBC India within Mumbai.
"All measures for the reason that mild will work. Otherwise, collateral damage will be too high."
The RBI's measures sent bond yields soaring as well as raised worries that the elevated costs in
order to borrowers will crimp growth currently at a decade reduced regarding 5 percent.
The RBI's measures possess had unintended consequences.
The central bank rejected almost all bids in a $2 billion sale regarding Treasury bills in Wednesday
as investors as well as the RBI had been locked in the stand-off more than the right cost pertaining
to credit card debt following Tuesday's bond rout. Which could in addition make it tougher for that
central bank's $2 billion financial debt sale planned for Thursday.
The RBI's tightening measures additionally triggered the surge inside redemption requests with
regard to mutual funds, forcing the particular central bank for you to provide a particular funding
facility for the particular kids in the move final taken throughout the financial crisis in 2008.
"FDI easing merely makes it less difficult for foreign investors to place their funds inside India,
nevertheless it doesn't affect the fundamentals that will determines if it can be a excellent idea to set
cash in India inside the 1st place," stated Nizam Idris, head associated with fixed income as well as
currency strategy from Macquarie inside Singapore.
Worryingly for investors, Singh's weak coalition government offers struggled for you to push via
reforms and has restricted firepower for further measures as it faces elections simply by May.
Among your steps announced about Tuesday, the particular foreign investment cap inside telecoms,
that stood with 74 percent, has been removed. However the particular measure was not expected to
attract refreshing entrants as the cut-throat business has already been crowded, and also plagued
through regulatory uncertainty.
Instead, existing foreign operators for example Vodafone Team Plc (VOD.L), Telenor ASA (TEL.OL)
and also Sistema (SSAq.L) might opt eventually to get out their own nearby partners.
"I'm not aware that there are virtually any foreign companies who've mentioned that they are usually
hindered because the country doesn't allow 100 percent FDI," stated Mahesh Uppal, director in
telecoms consulting firm Com Very first (India).
"I feel resolution associated with regulatory concerns would be way more essential for any investor,
foreign along with Indian," he said.
The Nifty rose 0.3 percent in Wednesday, yet Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS) and also idea Cellular
(IDEA.NS) gave up original gains to always be able to fall.
The partially convertible rupee closed in 59.34/35 per dollar, against its prior near regarding
59.31/32. This rose for you to 59.05 inside early trade about the government's steps yet later on fell
for you to as lower as 59.57.
It hit a record lower associated with 61.21 to the dollar upon July 8, as becoming a sea-change inside
global investment developments more than the past few months offers seen funds flow out of
emerging markets, rendering these with good existing account deficits, like India, particularly
Meanwhile the particular 10-year bond yield fell three time frame factors in order to 8.04 percent,
having surged 52 bps on Tuesday.
Although the government hopes its newest reforms attract long term richesse flows, previous
measures possess had mixed results, as well as FDI fell to $36.9 billion inside the fiscal year ending
within March through $46.6 billion the actual previous year.
A transfer final September for you to allow foreign direct investment in supermarkets features
certainly not attracted a single proposal, as guidelines continue to be ironed out.
Liberalisation of the aviation sector, in another hand, provides yielded investment plans from
Malaysia's AirAsia (AIRA.KL) along with Etihad regarding Abu Dhabi. Etihad's planned investment
throughout Jet Airways (JET.NS) has been bogged down through the concerns of Indian regulators
more than specifics with the deal.
If Singh's government loses the actual election next year, a number of reforms, such as food store
liberalisation, could potentially be reversed.
"There are generally plenty of sectors exactly where restrict is even now not exhausted, also it is not
really that FDI delays at the entranceway to get in as quickly as rules change," Jyotheesh Kumar,
executive vice president at HDFC Securities, wrote inside a note.
"There will additionally be doubts that will measures taken simply by this government might always
be rolled again or reversed if the subsequent government having a distinct mind-set will come to
(Additional reporting through Abhishek Vishnoi as well as Subhadip Sircar in MUMBAI as well as
Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by simply Tony Munroe)
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